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INESC TEC will create a 3D digital design tool

The creation of a digital 3D factory twin is one of the goals of the European project “Better Factory”, with INESC TEC as one of the partners.

20th October 2020


This €8M project aims to promote the development of industrial production in Europe, through a Marketplace (RAMP - Robotics Automation Marketplace) where SMEs have access to the products developed and the technologies used. Moreover, the SMEs will benefit from technologies that support their digitalisation e.g., 3D simulation tools, which will make production processes more swift and adapted.

“Basically, it's about creating a digital platform, a central point, where SMEs in the industrial sector can buy products and services from technology suppliers, designers, trainers or financial support providers”, explained Rafael Arrais, a researcher at the Centre for Robotics in Industry and Intelligent Systems (CRIIS). INESC TEC is one of the Portuguese entities involved in the project, alongside INOVA +.

During the project, qualified business experts and product designers will analyse the current portfolio of products and services, with the support of technology suppliers, in order to redesign personalised products and service portfolios, through new digital technologies. This can lead to new products, business models or brands.

“SMEs will have access to different resources to support their digitisation, such as a virtual environment focusing on the Internet of Things and the FIWARE platform, in the fields of robotics and automation, with storage and cloud computing for data analysis; benchmarking and 3D simulation tools for virtual tests; spaces for the co-creation and online collaboration, among several other digital solutions. The creation of a 3D designer (digital 3D factory twin), for the digital representation of a manufacturing area, is one of INESC TEC's main goal", stated César Toscano, researcher at the Centre for Enterprise Systems Engineering (CESE).

INESC TEC participation

INESC TEC participates in this project through CESE and CRIIS; both centres provide support to the Advanced Production Planning and Scheduling (APPS), and technical counselling to SMEs and technology providers in the digital twin and optimisation fields. The creation of a 3D designer (digital 3D factory twin), for the digital representation of a manufacturing area, is one of INESC TEC's main goal. INESC TEC researchers also contributed to the development of the Manufacturing Process Management Systems (MPMS), the RAMP marketplace and the IoT platform, namely in the agile manufacturing planning and the factory optimisation.

Open calls to support eight European teams

The project includes two open calls - the first is scheduled for January 2021 - to support eight European teams composed of SMEs, designers and technology suppliers. For one year, the selected candidates will be able to:

  • Explore of new markets, through digital technologies;


  • Test and develop new Agile manufacturing technologies with RAMP (Robotics Automation Marketplace);


  • Benefit from advanced training;


  • Develop their the business model;


  • Have access to approximately €200K of funding (per team).


The project gathers 28 partners from 18 countries

Better Factory brings together key-players in the European technology, art and innovation sectors. The consortium is coordinated by VTT (Finland), and includes 28 partners from 18 European countries, representing different ecosystems: arts (INOVA +, GLUON, WAAG and In4Art); technology suppliers (Fraunhofer IPA, AIMEN, Scuola Universitaria Professionale della Svizzera Italiana, Slovakia National Centre of Robotic, INESC TEC, Technologiko Panepistimio Kyprou, INFOTECH, Top Data Science, Holonix, GESTALT Robotics and European Dynamics); industrial sector entities (Transylvania Furniture Cluster, Slovenian Tool and Die Development Centre, Latvian Federation of Food Companies/Food Products Quality Cluster, CLUTEX - Klastr Technicke Textilie, Bydgoszcz Industrial Cluster, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Pécs ‐ Baranya, ICT Cluster and University of Oulu); business developers (Funding Box, Hermia Yrityskehitys Oy); experts in legal matters (time.lex) and agents of communication and dissemination (Mobile World Capital Barcelona).

The project has a duration of four years, and is funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme at €8.575M - under the agreement number 951813.

The researchers mentioned in this news piece are associated with INESC TEC.